Raising brats

Parents, stop raising your kids to be brats, advises a British nanny who’s worked at home and in the U.S.

If the child says, “I want the pink sippy cup, not the blue!” yet the mum has already poured the milk into the blue sippy cup . . . more often than not, the mum’s face whitens and she rushes to get the preferred sippy cup before the child has a tantrum.

. . . Who is in charge here? Let her have a tantrum, and remove yourself so you don’t have to hear it.

Don’t teach your kids they’ll get what they want by throwing a fit, Emma Jenner advises.

My policy: If you feel the need to scream, do it in your room. I’ll be running the washing machine or the dishwasher and working in the other side of the house.

Also, parents don’t expect enough of their children and they get upset if anyone else tells their kids to behave, Jenner writes.  (My husband will tell kids to behave in a public place.)

Children expect instant gratification, she writes. Parents exhaust themselves providing it.

So often I see mums get up from bed again and again to fulfill the whims of their child. Or dads drop everything to run across the zoo to get their daughter a drink because she’s thirsty. . . . There is nothing wrong with using the word “No” on occasion, nothing wrong with asking your child to entertain herself for a few minutes because mummy would like to use the toilet in private or flick through a magazine for that matter.

Indulgent parents raise their children to be “entitled, selfish, impatient and rude adults,” writes Jenner.  “We never wanted them to feel any discomfort, and so when they inevitably do, they are woefully unprepared for it.”

About Joanne


  1. You’d think this advice was common sense, but apparently not. (It used to be 🙂 )

    Two things I always used (and still do, if the situation warrants) with my kids:

    1) You get what you get; and
    2) You’ll survive.

    A lot more children could stand to hear this message, I think 😉

  2. cranberry says:

    You forgot “Life’s not fair.”

  3. Or, “I’m sure you’ll figure out something.”

  4. dangermom says:

    How many mothers’ faces really “whiten”? How many parents really rush to gratify their child’s every whim? This seemed very exaggerated to me. Most parents I know seem to have a reasonable amount of common sense.

    • Of course it’s exaggerated. If you were to instead write based upon reality, not perception and anecdote, you might start by observing that “Kids these days are rotten and spoiled” is an age-old theme, and you won’t find a generation from the past century that has not been blasted for its use of electronic entertainment. And you could acknowledge that while most parents will at times indulge a child to avoid a conflict or outburst, we’re not in the age without limits that the author pretends. But Huffington Post is all about click-bait, and the five people you’ll attract with that article won’t sell much ad space or generate any buzz about the author or her book.

  5. Sounds like my cats.